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Good ole country folk
421 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
It amazes us that nearly everyone we know can tell you exactly what the price of a gallon of gasoline today. It seems that we watch gas prices as they go on the weekly, sometimes daily, roller coaster ride.

Most American’s have no idea about the price of staple items we buy everyday. How do we know if an item put on sale is really a bargain, or is the store teasing us to get us in the door. If you may have noticed, food companies have already fooled many of us. We used to buy items in a standard one, two, or three pound package. Most companies are now packaging items the used to be a standard one pound into 12 ounce packages and charging the same price as the old one pound. Have you noticed that a five pound bag of sugar is getting hard to find—many are now packaging it in four pound bags. Grocers are becoming crafty in their quest for our dollars and are resulting in some mighty tricky deception techniques to fool the general population.

OK so let’s take a little pop quiz. Do you know exactly what you pay for your staple items today? Chances are you don’t know off the top of your head. Don’t be alarmed or ashamed, until recently we didn’t have a clue either. If the price of a can of diced tomatoes went up 3 cents, would you even notice?--Probably not.

Below is a list of basic staple items. Print this list out and without checking your receipts, write down your best guess as to the current price you are paying for each item described below. After you write this list, go to your local grocery store and write down the actual price of the product and see how you did. Now, take this list back home and write the current date of this list with the current prices. You now have a reference point to use for your future purchases. Use it to check for price increases and to determine if sales ads are really a bargain or not. You may not use some of the items on this list, but fill in the blanks anyway.

Fresh Carrots 1lb. __________ __________

Fresh Tomatoes 1lb __________ __________

Lettuce (head) __________ __________

Potatoes 10lb __________ __________

Onion 1 lb __________ __________

Wheat Bread 1lb __________ __________

White Bread 1 lb __________ __________

Mayonnaise 32oz __________ __________

Pinto Beans 1 lb __________ __________

White Beans 1lb __________ __________

Long Grain Rice 10lbs __________ __________

Macaroni 1lb __________ __________

Spaghetti noodles 1lb __________ __________

Instant Oats 42 oz __________ __________

All-purpose Flour 5lb __________ __________

Wheat Flour 5lb __________ __________

Diced tomatoes 15oz __________ __________

Baked beans 15oz __________ __________

Canned Corn 15oz __________ __________

Can chicken broth 15oz __________ __________

Chicken noodle soup 15oz __________ __________

Ranch salad dressing 26oz __________ __________

Table salt 26oz __________ __________

Granulated sugar 5lbs __________ __________

Honey 1lb __________ __________

Butter 1lb __________ __________

Cheddar cheese 1lb __________ __________

Fresh eggs 1dz __________ __________

Whole Milk 1gal __________ __________
2% white milk 1gal __________ __________

Skim Milk 1gal __________ __________

Whole Chicken 1lb __________ __________

Boneless chicken breast 1lb __________ __________

80% ground beef 1lb __________ __________

Bacon 1lb __________ __________

Frozen whole turkey 1lb __________ __________

Whole Ham 1lb __________ __________

Toothpaste 6oz __________ __________

Shampoo 18oz __________ __________

Toilet tissue 12 roll __________ __________

Bleach 1gal __________ __________

Dish Soap 32oz __________ __________

Although this is not a complete list of staple items, it will give you an item of current and future prices. As we approach the projected food increases of 2011, keep this list handy and check it often. We are presently working on a spreadsheet to help us track these items. If you would like us to e-mail you a copy of the spreadsheet, let us know.

When grocery shopping, we have found some basic rules being broken by all retailers. Here are a few other tips to consider when shopping for deals.

-- Bulk buying is not always best. Check the price per ounce/per pound on a variety of sizes. You may be surprised to see that the larger quantity is not always the best deal.

-- Check store brands verses name brands. Sometimes store brands may be pricier than the name brands. Double check packaging on like items.

-- Stores have a routine cycle for sales and prices may vary from week-to-week. Determine which items are truly on SALE.

-- Use coupons for ONLY those items you use. Don’t get sucked into buying something just because it is a deal.

Now get out there and be smart about spending your valuable grocery dollars.

26 Posts
Rising food costs

I do all the grocery/prep buying for our family and I do it on an almost daily basis.I normally buy 4 lb bags of sugar because it breaks down as a better buy in my local stores.I have seen the price of sugar rise from $1.79/4lb to a $2.89/4lb in just the last year.And at least a dollar rise in coffee per a 11.5 oz brick.My local Piggly Wiggly and a large mom and pop grocer that has been in our town for about 30 years have sales Wednesday to Wednesday and usually have good deals esp. on canned goods and meats.I can get better deals there than Wal_Mart.But i do watch the diff in costs and shop for the best sale.Fox News today announced that in the next few weeks there would be a rise in prices from 3% to 6% on most foods.

3,104 Posts
Bulk buying is not always best...

walmart ...10 lbs. rice...7.20
5 lbs. rice...3.18


I haven't paid above $2 for sugar for weeks...Dollar General...Sav-a-lot...IGA had it for 1.50 last week.

performing monkey
4,230 Posts
does anybody else use a self-imposed price threshhold for what they will buy and what they will pay for it?

it's not iron-clad but I some of the 'rules' in our house for some items:

of course we grow some of these things so don't actually buy them in season

potatoes $2 for 10 lbs
carrots, celery $1/lb
onions $1/3 lbs
cabbage $0.39/ head
lettuce $0.49/ head
ears of corn $2/dozen
tomatoes (FREE... gawd do we have a crapload every year)
canned vegetables 3/$1 OR 2/$1
butter $2/lb
spaghetti & other noodles $0.89/lb
rice <$0.50/lb
milk $2/gallon
eggs $1/dozen (this has been the hardest)
junk food (pretzels/chips) $1/bag
oreos (generic) $1.29/package

basically we buy items we know we use on sale & the particular items vary week to week, also a shopping trip that is less than $100 worth of goods is probably unnecessary, and coupons are definitely your friend (especially if doubled or tripled)

not a complete list, just decided to stop ;)

Supporting Member
3,312 Posts
You're right, Frugal Farmers. I can tell you the cost of only some items. But I'm finding myself paying a lot more attention these days! I'm in the process of developing thresholds for our grocery items.

Another thing I'm noticing is how frequently I see something marked as 'on sale', but the supposed regular price is jacked up, and the supposed sale price is what used to be the regular price. I mean, sure, this is an old trick that's been going on for ages, but now when I go to the grocery, it's almost every single item on the shelf that's like this.

3,347 Posts
I got sticker shock when I had to start going into the produce section this fall. Having the garden kept me in the dark about those rising prices!! We are looking into indoor farming. After the initial outlay for lighting, the cost of ongoing electricity is far less than the cost of buying veggies at current prices. For around $20/month I can grow enough fresh veggies to keep myself and Wendy happy. With $4/pound tomatoes (nice truck ripened ones at that!), $3/pound green peppers, $3/pound spinach it will not take too long to recoup the costs of even the lighting.

On the package size and price thing, I see that a lot. Last one I can recall was aspirin. The 200 tab store brand bottle was $1, the 500 tab store brand was on sale for $4. Right next to each other too with the unit pricing on the shelf. On a related note, I bought two 25# sacks of salt the other day. On checkout the cashier asked if I was sure I could use it all before it expired, or something about the expiration date anyway. She caught me off guard and all I could say was that it was salt. She looked over the bags and sure enough they had expiration date less than two years out!!! I could only chuckle and assure her it would get used before it went bad.
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